Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thank you, everybody, for the welcome-home comments.

The answer is, yes, Stephanie, (that’s the Yarn Harlot herself: I am deeply flattered) – stinging nettles. I have a book that says they can be eaten all summer through. I wouldn’t try it, myself, once April is gone. You pick the tender tops, wearing gloves; pick them over a bit, similarly attired; wash; blanch for maybe two minutes. After that they’re sweet as kittens. The soup involved sweating some onion and potato for a while, adding the nettles, adding some stock, half an hour or so, pureeing the lot. (Admittedly, I wouldn’t do that to kittens.) The result was perhaps slightly gritty because picking-over and cleaning in gloves hadn’t been very efficiently done, but quite tasty.

Thank you, everybody, for encouragement with my clumsy attempt at a raised bed. I’ve looked at squarefootgardening and at Lasagna Gardening with great interest. If my first raised bed works, maybe I’ll do a lasagna for the second.

And you may have an idea there, Ron – I’ve been assuming that I’ll take my 12 pictures to the local Kodak shop for transformation into a calendar, one per page. But maybe I can find someone on the web who’ll let me have two.

Well – you got me started. I wandered around on the web a bit, after writing that paragraph, and found that Kodak themselves will let me make a calendar with one photograph on some pages and more on others. They complain of all my pics that they aren’t sufficiently high-resolution. I will remedy that for the future, but there’s no way to go back and re-do January through April. The moving finger writes, and having writ…


I finished row 203 of the Princess border yesterday. 201 and 202 were hard: hardly any lace, but what there was consisted of establishing new motifs so the whole thing was an agony of counting and peering to make sure everything was in the right place. We seem to be set fair for now.

Thank you, Edinburgh Jean’s (comments April 20), for the suggestion that the Royal Edinburgh Repository might eventually block the Princess for me. I’m afraid it would be rather like putting out a baby to a wet nurse; I couldn’t bear it. If we ever get that far, I’ll have to do it myself.

The Repository is a remarkable charity. I was glad to be reminded of its real name. My husband and I tend to refer to it as the Distressed Gentlefolk, and often shop there. When I knit granddaughter Kirsty her Christening set, I bought a paper pattern and some material and took it to the Repository so that someone could make me a slip for the baby to wear underneath. It was done nicely and promptly.

The trust, whatever it is, pays for the shop (city centre; no joke) and the staff – the craftspeople get every penny they charge for the things they sell. I wonder if Google could explain who was behind it, but I’ve spent enough time already this morning exploring the calendar question.

Here’s the routine homecoming picture of My Vegetable Garden, as of Thursday morning. We ate and much enjoyed the forced rhubarb.


  1. Anonymous9:35 AM

    You already know more about the Royal Edinburgh Repository than I was able to discover through a quick Google. I've never done more than peer through the window, but it sounds a remarkable place.

    Another Jean in Edinburgh

  2. Anonymous7:12 AM

    Welcome back, Jean! Another use for nettles is for dye. You can use them to dye up your yarns (or rovings for spinners) and get a nice variety of green shades. I look forward to more Princess progress photos. I'm living vicariously through your knitting it.